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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Totti confirms retirement to take up directorship role at Roma

Roman played his last game for Serie A club in May but his status since had been uncertain as he fielded offers.

Roma's long-serving captain Francesco Totti ended his playing career in 2017. Vincenzo Pinto / AFP
Roma's long-serving captain Francesco Totti ended his playing career in 2017. Vincenzo Pinto / AFP

Francesco Totti has confirmed his retirement as a player by accepting a directorship role with Roma.

The 40-year-old Roman, who represented the Giallorossi for 24 years as a striker, played his last game for the Serie A club in May but his status since had been uncertain as he fielded offers.

In an interview published on Roma's official website on Monday evening, Totti admitted his illustrious on-pitch career was a thing of the past and that a new life in football management awaited him.

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He said: "The end of my playing career was May 28, 2017. That for me was an historic day.

"I'll carry it with me forever. It will be hard to explain to people the feelings and emotions I felt that day.

"The first part of my life, as a player, has ended but now I'm heading into an equally important part as a manager, hoping to do as well as I did on the field."

Totti made his debut as a 16-year-old in 1993 and won the Scudetto once, in 2001. His 786th and final appearance for Roma was as a substitute in a 3-2 league win over Genoa at the Olimpico.

Watch video of what he means to Rome

He was reportedly close to making a swansong switch to China or Major League Soccer but has instead hung up his boots.

"I never wanted that game to end, that day to end," said Totti, who is Roma's all-time leading goalscorer with 307 in all competitions.

"For me it was too important, too significant, too exciting.

"The game has given me so much and I tried to give so much back to the people who have showed me so much love day after day.

"Now I'll try to make myself available at all 360 degrees, from the youth team to the president. It might take six months, a year, two years... I don't know how long it will take to find the role I prefer."

Francesco Totti's bio

Born September 27, 1976

Position Attacking midifelder

Clubs played for (1) - Roma

Total seasons 24

First season 1992/93

Last season 2016/17

Appearances 786

Goals 307

Titles (5) - Serie A 1; Italian Cup 2; Italian Supercup 2